South Carolina drug overdose deaths increased 23% in 2021

There was a 22.78% increase in drug overdose deaths in South Carolina from December 2020 to December 2021 as compared to the year before according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

South Carolina had 2,129 overdose deaths from December 2020 to December 2021. California (11,704), Florida (8,171), Pennsylvania (5,483), Ohio (5,407), Texas (5,033), North Carolina (4,023), Tennessee (3,937), New York (3,218), Michigan (3,040) and New Jersey (3,044) had the most predicted overdose deaths during that time. Tennessee was the only one of those states with a higher rate of increase than South Carolina during that one-year span.

Mississippi (28.75%), Alabama (29.77%), Tennessee (25.58%) and Georgia (27.67%) showed significant increases over that span.

The CDC has said that substance and drug abuse has risen during COVID-19 closures as “social isolation and increased anxiety also caused more Americans to say they were struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts.”

The CDC estimated that there were 107,622 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. in December 2021, which set a record. The data showed a steady increase since Jan. 2015, when 48,126 drug overdose deaths were reported. That number was 93,655 in December 2020.

The death counts remain provisional as the CDC continues to collect data and “drug overdose deaths often require lengthy investigations, and death certificates may be initially filed with a manner of death ‘pending investigation’ and/or with a preliminary or unknown cause of death” according to the report.

Previous data shows that the May data release for South Carolina, separated out monthly, is likely to be between 89% and 98% complete for each month.

The overall rate of overdose deaths went up 15% across the country between December 2020 and December 2021 while the Midwest was a large factor in that increase with Minnesota showing a 26.01% increase. Indiana had a 21.26% increase in overdose deaths while Wisconsin was up 13.97%, Iowa had an increase of 12.41% and Michigan was up 9.31%.

“Drug overdose deaths may involve multiple drugs; therefore, a single death might be included in more than one category when describing the number of drug overdose deaths involving specific drugs,” the report explained. “For example, a death that involved both heroin and fentanyl would be included in both the number of drug overdose deaths involving heroin and the number of drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone.”

This article was originally posted on South Carolina drug overdose deaths increased 23% in 2021